|Nissan Leaf & GM Volt|
Once again, General Motors is burying the monthly sales totals for the Chevy Volt. In a press release headlined "May U.S. Retail Sales Rise 9 Percent on Demand for Fuel-Efficient Vehicles," the Volt's sales numbers are not disclosed. Instead, the total – 481 – is in the detailed PDF of the Chevrolet brand sales totals and shows the car is suffering from another month-to-month drop; GM sold 493 in April. Last month, GM told us that drop in Volt sales compared to March's 608 units was due, in part, to the company sending 300 Volts to dealers to use as demo vehicles. We await word on what the reason for the drop is this time.
On the other hand, Nissan is proudly proclaiming that it sold 1,142 units of the Nissan Leaf in May, a huge increase over the 573 sold in April. Overall, Leaf sales have now totaled 2,167 deliveries this year. For comparison, GM has sold 2,184 Volts in 2011. If this trend continues, it won't be long before we hear Nissan touting a new tagline for the Leaf: the best-selling plug-in car in America. You can see the press releases from both companies after the jump.
Electric car buyers usually have higher incomes, so the higher price tags for the cars typically haven’t been an issue for those looking for an electric car. Leaf owners are in the top 15 percent of households with regards to income, according to Nissan. Both Nissan and General Motors are trying to produce electric cars with broader appeal by slapping smaller price tags on them, but it’s resulted in demand that the car manufacturers just can’t keep up with.
GM said it expects to ship around 10,000 Volts this year, while Nissan has said it will ship around 20,000 Leafs by September. The U.S. government has set ambitious targets for both the Volt and Leaf, based on its goal of having more than 1 million electric cars on the road by 2015. The U.S. government expects GM to sell around 500,000 Volts by 2015 and Nissan to sell 300,000 Leafs by 2015, according to the report.